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Why Chinese food is best in China

Just last week, I was in The Hague when I came across an Asian supermarket. This one was one of the better ones, and I stocked up on laksa paste, miso soup and other Asian staples. This week I’m preparing to enjoy my first laksa in more than two years, such is the lack of […]

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In search of the perfect beer

I didn’t drink beer until my first week at university. I was one of those dreaded lolly-drink girls, who then graduated to gin and tonics and cocktails. Beer just wasn’t my style, I had decided early. However, it is mighty hard to go to university and not drink beer. On a pub crawl during O-Week, […]

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Miracle on Albert Cuypstraat

Let me set the scene. It was a sunny autumn morning in Amsterdam. Paul and I were cycling around the neighbourhood called De Pijp, deciding to jump off our bikes for a stroll through the Albert Cuyp street market. (The Albert Cuyp street market is actually very cool, but that’s for another blog.) As always, […]

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The McQuestion

I had been in China for about three weeks by this stage. Publicly, I would be gushing over my latest Chinese culinary indulgence. “I can survive simply on Asian food,” I would declare to anyone who would listen. China really was my foodie heaven. That’s when I spied the golden arches. They were slightly off […]

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Getting naked in public

Hamam. Onsen. Sauna. Bath. To some, they are words associated with indulgence and luxury. To others though, they are reason for white-knuckled panic. For one main reason. You have to get naked. In public. Most Westerners freak out at the very thought of parading around in nothing but a birthday suit, myself initially included. The […]

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A country in a photo – China

China’s an incredibly intriguing country, to the point where I’ve spent more time here than the nearby country whose language I spent an incredible ten years learning; Japan. Its development, politics, bureaucracy, history and of course food fascinate me. I’m not done with China, not even close. China’s such a massive country with so many […]

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The quest for the perfect dumpling

You can take the girl out of Melbourne, but you can’t take Melbourne out of this girl – that’s probably the main reason why I was reading this article in the Age the other day about the best dumplings in Melbourne. Frankly, I think this list is pretty lazy. Although I used to be a […]

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The promised land of the dumpling

China is not known for its blue skies. It is almost perpetually cloudy, the sun sneaking through only rarely, contributing to the feeling that you’re in an extremely cramped country. Mrs Godfrey, my beloved high school history teacher who hails from Scotland, once said that when she arrived in Australia, she couldn’t believe how big […]

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Spice girls

Chengdu is the first place, I think, that I’ve visited solely due to being intrigued by its food. I love spicy food and Sichuan really is spicy food headquarters. The food even goes to their heads, with local women nicknamed ‘spice girls’ due to their fiery tempers. I figured that I may as well head […]

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Guilin me softly

As I write this (later to be typed) I’m sitting 507 steep steps on top of a karst hill in Guilin’s Seven Stars Park. My Ventolin has had a workout and I’m buggered. When I arrived in Guilin, I wasn’t too impressed. It seemed to me to be a typical ugly Chinese city in beautiful […]

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